Last week I found myself swept up in excitement with an incredible group of people who shared their thoughts a
fter running via a short twitter video. It was called a #runandrant. I found the concept to be really exciting as it coupled three things I like but don’t do as often as I would like; video, over thinking, and running. (Ok the 2nd one I do all the time.)
We talk about consistency often. I had plenty of time to think about it on my long slow 5k leg of what was a joint effort marathon filled with great reflections. So many times people refer to consistency as being the same every day, offering the same level every day, doing the same things every day. People know what to expect from you when you are the same each day. But, are we ever really the same each day? Reality is way messier than that. Each day brings new challenges. Yes, most mornings I get up and do many of the same activities every day, but that is not what makes for real consistency. Some days I wake up with plenty of energy, others I am a zombie, slogging through the routine.
As I trudged on, one foot after another, I realized something. Being consistent isn’t about somehow being the same every day. Holding yourself to that standard is unrealistic and unnatural. It is alsolikely to be bad for your health both mentally and emotionally. Being consistent isn’t about your routine either. Anyone can follow a list of steps, it’s so easy a robot can do it. As I drove onward, holding pace, putting one foot out in front of the next, I realized, consistency is about keeping on.
I haven’t been running regularly since December of last year. So, running a 5k was doable, but also painful at times. Other times the sun shined on my face or the breeze blewperfectly and I felt amazing. I could have easily stopped. There wasn’t anyone watching me. I could have ran less. No one would have known. Yet I kept going. Consistency is about continuing to try despite the lows. It is about not getting too distracted by the highs. We will all have life moments that swing heavily to one side or the other. For me, being consistent is about moving forward, taking the next step (either literally or metaphorically) and working toward small goals. Those small goals, those slow steps, add up over time.